There is an interesting article out of Illinois this morning about kids and motorcycles.
There is apparently no law governing the wearing of motorcycle helmets for kids in that state.

There is a push on to ban kids from riding and at the very least to force helmet laws on their parents and by that I mean to force parents to put helmets on their kids.

What I found bizarre about the topic is the fact that the article sites two crashes involving kids on motorcycles, where both kids were wearing helmets and they also use the death of race Peter Lenz, who was 13 when he died as an example.

Begin Quote:
“Some people don’t understand the vulnerability of children or don’t care,” said Janette Fennell, president of, a nonprofit child-safety organization. End Quote

Begin Quote:
But in Lorrie Walker’s view, it’s up to lawmakers to help parents make the right decisions.
She is technical adviser for Safe Kids USA, a nonprofit group aimed at preventing childhood injuries.
“There are restrictions on rides at Disney World — why do something less for motorcycles?” Walker said.
“Sometimes parents need guidance. If there’s no law, they assume it’s safe.” End Quote

Begin Quote:
Secretary of State Jesse White intends to take up the fight again, a spokesman said.
“It’s common sense,” White press secretary Dave Druker said. “When someone makes a decision to use a motorcycle, they’re making that decision for themselves. (But) children don’t have any say. They should have every defense that they can.” End Quote
The ABATE feels the government needs to butt out: Begin Quote: “No. 1, it’s not the government’s place to tell anyone what to wear,” said Greg Smith, public relations coordinator for the DuPage/Kane chapter of ABATE, or A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education. End Quote

What I take away from this article and the arguments of these doctors and safety experts is that they are attempting to make something out of nothing.

The arguments they are using in this article make no sense to me. No where in the article do they report any injuries of kids who ARE NOT wearing helmets and yet these people feel the need to tell parents they have to act responsibly when it appears that they are.

In the one crash that they site, the father died because he wasn't wearing a helmet but his 9 year old daughter WAS wearing a helmet. So tell me how was this parent acting irresponsibly? Simply because his child was a passenger? Or because he chose not to wear one?
If the push is for a helmet law for kids, it seems rather ridiculous to site cases of a kid who was a racer and two kids who were wearing helmets on street bikes. It also seems ridiculous that they site crash stats involving kids yet none of the stats support the argument that parents aren't responsible and need to be told to put a helmet on their kids.

As far as banning kids from riding goes, I wonder at that too.

With the popularity in this country of the sport of motocross, I wonder at the opinions of the legislators.
Could you imagine attempting to ban kids from riding in this country?

From what I understand the average law regarding kids as passengers on street bikes is that they must be big enough to have their feet firmly planted on the foot pegs of the bike. This is probably the most sensible approach to the issue of when a kid is old enough to be a passenger. Size, not age. That and a parents individual choice as to their level of comfort with their ability as riders and their choice to involve their child in a family recreation.

The questions this article raises for me are:
1) If none of the stats support the argument, then what is the issue?
2) Why does the government feel the need to stick its nose into something that appears to be a non issue?
3) Do parents have the right to make motorcycling a family affair?

I would LOVE for you to wade in on this topic. The discussion is on Facebook, Twitter, here in this blog or in our forum on

In other news:

The rider who died on the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island is identified and his family and others are calling for the highway to be improved.

A rider  from the Guelph Ontario area with 300,000 KM under his belt is telling other riders that "Loud Pipes Save Lives" is a myth - that it is smart riding that keeps you safe.

In Sports - the Baja 1000 is set to get underway on Friday with the Pre running, the race starts November 17th.

There are other articles in the news feeds that may be of interest to you, check them out at where we sift through the news so you don't have to.

Our calendar sales are over and we have the results:
We pre sold 20 Kidz Calendars so the Little Warriors Fund will be getting a donation of $200
We pre sold 27 Ladies Calendars so the International Breast Cancer Conga will be getting $270
We pre sold 22 Men's Calendars so the CMTA's Injured Riders funs will be getting $220

After all of the excitement of the contests themselves, I am rather disappointed with the actual sales numbers. I had thought that the charitable causes would be a bigger influence in purchases than they were. 

The calendars go to print tomorrow and should, if all goes well start arriving to the purchasers towards the middle to end of the month.  I thank all those who took the causes we supported seriously. 

Ali will be putting the print ready files up on our web site for download (They are large files and will take time to download) - the cost will be $10 plus tax for downloading the calendars so that you can print them off at home or Staples and have your own calendar made - perhaps then we will be able to donate more to the charities. It will take a day or two for that to happen though.

Have a safe and wonderful Tuesday,

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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